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Sh3m illegal fishing gear destroyed in Homa Bay

Friday May 29 2020
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Homa Bay County Agriculture and Fisheries Executive Aguko Juma burns 134 illegal fishing nets worth Sh3 million in Rusinga Island on May 28, 2020. PHOTO | GEORGE ODIWUOR | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By GEORGE ODUOR

Homa Bay County fisheries department has destroyed 134 illegal fishing nets worth Sh3 million.

The nets, which were set on fire in Mbita Town on Thursday, were said to threaten aquatic life in Lake Victoria.

County Agriculture and Fisheries Executive Aguko Juma said the nets were confiscated by officers from his department who were on patrol in Lake Victoria.  

ILLEGAL FISHING

"The operation to get rid of illegal gear began in 2019. Last week, we confiscated more than 50 nets and destroyed them," he said.

The nets that were seized from Gembe and Rusinga Island where there is a lot of illegal fishing.

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Some of the nets capture fish of all sizes including fingerlings and immature ones. 

Mr Juma said such nets threaten the existence of some fish species in the lake.

“Some of the nets can capture everything it comes across including fish eggs. They also destroy fish habitats in the lake," the executive said.

Fishing is one of the major economic activities in Homa Bay.

"All illegal nets must be destroyed because if they are kept, they can still find their way back in the water. This is a threat to the fishing industry which employs millions of people," he said.

DIRE CONSEQUENCES

Fishermen have been warned of dire consequences should they will be found to be using illegal gear.

County Beach Management Unit chairman Edward Oremo said his office will join hands with the county government in the campaign against illegal fishing gear.

The operation comes in the wake of an outcry by fishermen over huge losses due to the rising water levels in Lake Victoria and the effects of Covid-19.  

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